First introduced late last year, Sylvania's new bulb connects to a HomeKit setup over Bluetooth, so no hub or WiFi connection is necessary. It's a multicolored bulb, so it can be set to several different shades of white or a range of different colors, much like the well-known Philips Hue color bulbs.
We were able to go hands-on with the Sylvania Smart Bulb ahead of its launch, and it works well. As with any HomeKit product, setup takes just a couple of minutes and is as simple as screwing the bulb into a lamp. It's about as bright as a Hue bulb and the color can be adjusted through the Home app. Color wise, its range is similar to the Hue, though some of the shades are not quite as deep (especially greens and purples).
The benefit to the Sylvania bulb is its ability to connect over Bluetooth, alleviating the need for a hub. Early on, Bluetooth HomeKit products were slow and prone to not working, but those issues have long since been worked out. The Sylvania bulb responds quickly and works anywhere in the house. It also works when away from home if there's an Apple TV or an iPad to serve as a home hub.
Like all HomeKit-equipped products, the new Sylvania bulb responds to Siri commands and can be used with scenes and timers for automation.
"Our approach is unique in the Smart industry because we focus on delivering quality lighting products first and only then adding Smart functionality second. Our customers expect their Smart lighting to not only work with the latest and greatest technology ecosystems, but to look good while doing it," added Ganick. "Our products combine over a century of lighting expertise with our forward-thinking, high tech mentality. That's why they aren't just Smart, they are SYLVANIA SMART+."The Sylvania Smart A19 Full Color LED Bulb can be pre-ordered from Amazon for $44.99.
Later this year, LEDVANCE plans to release an Indoor Full Color Flex Strip, an A19 Soft White Light Bulb, and a Plug, all of which will be HomeKit compatible and will be available at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Lowe's, and more.